Filed under: Classics, Convertible, Cadillac, Design/Style, Luxury

In the 1930s, if you had the means, you could have custom coachbuilder Fleetwood fabricate a one-of-a-kind Cadillac just the way you like it. Well-heeled customers would peruse a build book to pick and choose the accoutrements they most liked. About 15 months later, their custom-bodied Cadillac would be delivered for their enjoyment.

In Fleetwood's 1934 build book were drawings for a stunningly classy dual-cowl Phaeton and a supremely gorgeous rumble-seat roadster. Both were to be built on Cadillac's V-16 chassis but neither were ever ordered. Even during the Great Depression it's hard to imagine how these two cars could have been passed over.

But in 1984, classic car restorer Fran Roxas took a 1930s Cadillac chassis with the 185-horsepower 452-cubic-inch overhead-valve V-16 and created the Phaeton and then the roadster a few years later. In February of this year, the Phaeton sold at auction for $962,500, the roadster for $1,001,000.

Both will be on display at Pebble Beach this weekend sitting next to the Ciel Convertible the two cars inspired.

"The Cadillac Phaeton 5859 and Roadster 5802 are literally unlike any other vehicle ever built," Clay Dean, Cadillac design director, said in a press release (see below). "The Cadillac design team is still inspired by these two vehicles as we dream and conceive of future Cadillac entries."

Hemmings thinks there might have been two reasons why these cars were never built. First, Fleetwood wouldn't have built them on spec due to the enormous expense. Instead, someone would have needed to order and pay for them in advance only to wait the 15 months for delivery. That brings up the second reason they may never have been built. No one wanted to pay the exorbitant amount of money just to take delivery of a car that was at least one model year behind their neighbors' new rides.Continue reading Cadillac bringing pair of Depression-era cars that went unsold to Pebble Beach
Cadillac bringing pair of Depression-era cars that went unsold to Pebble Beach originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 15 Aug 2012 16:28:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
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